Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Where the bloody hell are you

The Basant Panchmi Festival in India, celebrates the onset of spring, marking the beginning of new life as yellow mustard flowers start to bloom

Gone Arran
Set off from Cork last Tuesday with a faint idea of what I was going to do, that being go to An Galliamh (Galway in English) and see where the craic was at.

There is a new service from Cork to Galway 18 Euro return, so I got that and as it turned out I was the only person on the bus. I remember sending out an email saying something like, ‘There’s 5 cars in my house and I can’t use any of them, so I’ll get a poor mans chauffeured trip to Galway. Turns out I was right.

As we got as far as Limerick another guy got on, I remember he was reading a comic, I haven’t seen anyone read comics since I was 10.
Anyway after a drivers smoke brake we got talking for the rest of the trip.
He showed me a place to stay, the SleepZone. We met up later for a few beers and then went to a comedy in the ‘Rosing Dubh’, 3 excellent comics, I laughed hard and drank heaps of Guinness, oh the Guinness was great, one solid week of it, it was probably coming out my ears in the end, so good.

Went on the Burren trip, saw the Dolmen, hard to believe that those 3 stones have had 1800 birthdays. And all of us tourists gust get off a bus, go in for 10 minutes take photos and back on the bus again.
Went to the cliffs, got talking to a Canadian guy Matt I think it was, hard to believe how windy it was, a Polish girl was taken by the cliffs only 6 weeks ago while posing for a photo, ‘Yeah, back a bit, back a bit’, then no more, game over folks.

Then we called into Oliver St John Gogarty’s place

Very nice, the tour guide was really good, heaps of stories, great value on my 14 Euro student ticket, there was only 4 of us on the bus too.

Went on a pub crawl with the Canadian guy and listened to some music.

Next day it was time to get out, so off I went. Having coffee, I had an idea, what about the Arran Islands, so I got a ticket and as Hunter S Thompson said, ‘If you buy the ticket, you take the ride’

Only about 10 people on the boat, found a place to stay, it was raining a fair bit, but I was starting to get used to it.

Walked around and noticed a pub open, so in I went and I was quiet surprised to see a modern pub, like any you would find on the mainland. Very impressive, but the best was to come.

The best Guinness of my life was being served, what joy!!
Later that nigh I went to the Hotel for some food, very nice setup again. The barman was a polish guy, first Polish guy I have met in Ireland. Ordered food, not too bad, more Guinness, not bad. I was the only person there, not too bad. Had a good chat.

Went back to the village, met an old guy Padraig, he’s 73 years old, every morning he arises and says 3 hail marys as he’s so happy to be alive and Shadow Boxes. I was thinking to myself what would you think if you happened to be walking past and saw him shadow box, you’d probably think he was off his game.

Found Tiompal Ciaran, had a look and got a few photos.
Went up to Dun Aungus, hard to believe that it dates back as far as 100 BC when they had no tools and the rock was cut from rock.

Very hard life, no wood to make a fire, windy rainy area. They must have been constantly wet or damp.

Even when they started farming the islands, there’s 1800 kms of stone wall on the islands. They made soil, every where you look there are stone walls and some of them as was rightly pointed out are works of art and they are, they also double up as cattle shelters as they don’t bring in their cattle.

So after being wet and cold on the islands, being cold isn’t so bad anymore.
Called to Doolin on the way back, I was the only one on the bus and had a great chat with the driver.

Got a photo of the Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival sign, the bottom of it says ‘Were here for the women and the beer’. Had to walk a long way for that one, but it was worth it. Might try and make a brake around the 5th of Feb.

Here I go now.

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